Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Hey know what the title means? Its just another three letter acronym and it can mean many things to many different people for example it could mean Point of Sale it could mean Peering over shoulder, but what it mostly means to me is Piece of Shit. For those who know me know that I am quick to critize products and services and well many things. I spend a lot of time calling many domestic automobiles pieces of shit. It doesn't win me many friends in certain circles but come on, if the best thing coming out of detroit these days is a hand me down over bloated, 4000 pound POS mecerdez benz otherwise known as a Chrysler 300C, then certainly domestics derserve their POS title. Its true Ford is doing their best to improve their image and products and GM, well GM what a wierd company, anyone seen the new Malibu lately? Dare I say POS? And sure there are numerous Asian and German POSs as well but much fewer and further between then what detroit has to offer. Anyway this post isn't about domestic POSs it's about database software and let me tell you there is a lot of stinky stuff in the database market. One of the biggest POS dbs is Oracle, many who know Oracle may disagree with me, however what makes a piece of software a POS? To me it is bad business practices more then anything, second bugs, third bad design for use and maintenance. The are many other aspects such as performance, reliablity, features, fault tolerance, etc but like cars all manufactures today can get you from a to b rather well and all database software can store and retrieve data rather well. I started my agonizing life with Oracle products about 8 years ago. I was tasked with learning Oracle administration, maintaining and installing many oracle databases for a former employer. I quickly realized that Oracle the company was a rather old school, big business kind of chump who firmly believes in pay for information. If you want any information from Oracle, like say "how do I use this overtly expensive software I just bought from you?" you must pay and pay dearly. When I started learning the first place I looked for information was in the documentation provided from Oracle. They were the books and online books that came with the product, I couldn't believe how bad their documentation was, so I had to figure most of how it worked out on my own through trial and error. My employer thought knowledge was only acquired through structured learning so they sent me on a one week Oracle database administration course. I attended the course and aside from the teacher not being able to speak a word of english and the fact that I didn't bother showing up for 3 out of 5 days of the course I got a perfect score on the final exam. Now I am definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I'm certainly not dog's gift to DB administration but the course book that they (Oracle) gave had all the information that any DB would need to administer their database(s). The course book was roughly 400 pages and was essentialy the same thickness as the administration manual that came with the database software however the manual had none of the information in it that the course book had. This to me was the first example of how they make you pay for information, why didn't they simply give you the course book as the administration manual? Once I started installing and using Oracle software I ran into a world of hurt. I have never had to apply so many patches and hot fixes and service packs in my life. At one point I had to download a patch then I had to download a patch that patched a bug in the installer of the original patch that I had previously downloaded then once that patch was applied I was able to apply 8 more patches that got me to a third level minor revision which allowed me to apply 6 hot fixes which got the software to the level that was supported by the product vendor. Once all the patches and hot fixes were applied I started installing the vendor software only to have a major crash within ten minutes, upon investigation I had discovered a bug, after spending hours upon hours with the support personnel I had to wait about a week for a fix then install another patch and then I was in business. Once all the rough stuff up front was done I was able to configure the database and server to run reliably for years after that. I did have to continue to work with Oracle products after that with much frustration. So I don't care what anyone says Oracle is a POS (Rather childish I know but I like to hide all the gory details)

Update: Found a little news article that tells me Oracle is still as buggy as it has ever been and that their business practices are no different now then they were 8 years ago. Click here Their slogan was "unbreakable" and most hackers had sploits within 24 hours of release, hmmm what should their new slogan be? "unbreakable, unless of course you take the cellophane off and install it"

Dim Oracle as Crap
Dim SQLSvr as Hero

If DoesSuck(Oracle) = True then
End If
lol, well Sql Server is looking pretty long in the tooth these days too.
oh ya VB is a POS too :)
Them there are fightin' words!!
you better believe it, but maybe you should re-write it in C and you get bonus points if you include a buffer overrun.
Yo, my new companies product runs on oracle....yea, I don't like it either....hand me the old, long in the tooth wormy sql server any day over this thing.

programmer formerly known as paulicat
Without a doubt the most painful database environment to work in unless your idea of an advanced IDE is fking vi.

Here, let me give a good kick while this piece of crap bloatware is down - how's this for logic

select some_scalar_function(input) FROM DUAL - WTF?!@@

Yes, that makes perfect sense, let's require that a table with a single row be referenced in every select statement that otherwise doesn't logically reference any table - Larry must have been smoking some good dope when he thought that one up...
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